Thursday, April 18, 2024

Current Affairs December 01-12-2023 to 07-12-2023.

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1. Launch of the Centre of Data for Public Good (CDPG)

The Foundation for Science Innovation and Development (FSID) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) has introduced the Centre of Data for Public Good (CDPG). This initiative is dedicated to advancing research, innovation, collaboration, and best practices in the domains of data science, analytics, and policy to tackle critical societal challenges.

CDPG aims to serve as a central hub for multidisciplinary research, fostering collaboration among experts from academia, industry, and government. The primary goal is to harness the power of data for the betterment of the public.

The center places a strong emphasis on ethical data use, privacy, and responsible artificial intelligence (AI). It focus areas include smart cities, agriculture, logistics, geospatial analysis, environmental sustainability, and more.

2. Indian Navy Operational Demonstration 2023 at Sindhudurg

Indian Navy displayed its operational prowess and capabilities through an ‘Operational Demonstration’ covering a spectrum of naval operations by the ships and aircraft at the iconic Sindhudurg Fort on the western seaboard of India on 4th December 2023.

The event, hosted by Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff, was witnessed from the Tarkarli beach by senior Centre and State Government officials, military dignitaries, and the local populace. The event aims to celebrate and glorify our rich maritime history and shed the colonial practices.

The Sindhudurg Fort built in 1660 by Chatrapati Shivaji boasts of India’s Rich maritime history and meets the Navy’s requirement to conduct Operational demonstrations. The event witnessed the participation of 20 warships along with 40 aircraft comprising MIG 29K and LCA Navy as major attractions. It was the first time that the Indian Navy organised a Mega event which is not taking place at any major Naval stations.

3. Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurates 40th Coast Guard Commanders Conference

Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh has called upon the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) to continue working with dedication and professionalism towards bolstering the coastal defences and maritime capabilities of the country.

Inaugurated the 40th Coast Guard Commanders Conference in New Delhi on November 30, 2023. The Defence Minister complimented the ICG for ensuring maritime security by being in the vanguard in the field of search & rescue and pollution response.

During the Conference, the Defence Minister was given an overview of the ongoing development projects, operational readiness, and future expansion plans of the ICG by Director General Rakesh Pal.

The three-day conference aims at addressing contemporary maritime challenges and fortifying the country’s coastal surveillance mechanisms. It is being attended by senior officers of the Ministry of Defence and the ICG.

4. SBM-GOBARdhan Biogas Conference

To give a boost to the compressed Biogas (CBG) sector and accelerate the Waste to Wealth and Circular Economy, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) organized the ‘SBM-GOBARdhan Biogas Conference in partnership with GIZ, Circular Waste Solutions, and UNIDO at Bharat Mandapam, New Delhi.

The day-long conference covered a range of engaging topics like transformative policies for waste to CBG projects, policies for off-take arrangements, financing CBG plants, scaling up CBG in Germany, facilitating investments in CBG projects, and promoting global initiatives for CBG.

The Key takeaways of the conference were VGF availability for BIO-CBG projects, Model MCA, and RFP for all waste processing projects including bio-gas issued jointly prepared by MoHUA and DEA, and Offtake arrangements in convergence with SATAT. The focus was on the need for uniform policy at the State level and ULBs for onboarding private concessionaires for the project and the quality of waste by way of Segregation.

5. Dynamic Ground Water Resource Assessment Report 2023

The Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat released the Dynamic Ground Water Resource Assessment Report for the entire country for the year 2023. The assessment was carried out jointly by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) and States/UTs, which can be used for taking suitable interventions by various stakeholders.

As per the 2023 assessment report, the total annual groundwater recharge for the entire country is 449.08 billion cubic meters (BCM), marking an increase of 11.48 BCM compared to the previous year (2022) and annual groundwater extraction for the entire country is 241.34 BCM. Further, out of the total 6553 assessment units in the country, 736 units have been categorized as ‘Over-exploited’.

A detailed analysis of the information collected from the assessment indicates an increase in groundwater recharge which may mainly be attributed to an increase in recharge from canal seepage, return flow of irrigation water, and recharges from water bodies/tanks & water conservation structures.

6. IDEX-DIO signs 300th contract for Defence Innovation

Innovations for Defence Excellence (Idex), the flagship initiative of the Department of Defence Production, has reached a milestone with the signing of its 300th contract. The contracts relate to the design and development of advanced Gallium Nitride Semiconductors which are essential for the next generation of wireless transmitters in defence applications ranging from radars to EW (Electronics Warfare) jammers.

The proposal aims to design, develop and manufacture GaN components for defense in India using completely indigenous GaN technology. This would significantly enhance the indigenous design & development capability, paving the way for immense potential in the defence sector including exports.

The contract was signed by Additional Secretary (Defence Industries Production) & CEO/DIO T.Natarajan with M/s Agnit Semiconductors Private Limited in the presence of Defence Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane and other senior civil & military officials of the Ministry of Defence in New Delhi on December 01, 2023.

7. LeadIT 2.0 launched at COP 28

The Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi unveiled LeadIT 2.0 at the COP28 World Climate Action summit held in Dubai. The initiative focuses on the transfer of low-carbon technology to emerging economies along with financial assistance. LeadIT stands for Leadership Group for Industry Transition.

Prime Minister Modi also launched the India-Sweden Industry Transition Partnerships in collaboration with Swedish counterpart UIF Kristerson. LaedIT 2.0 marks a significant stride toward a sustainable and green industrial revolution. The LeadIT 2.0 initiative is centered around sectors such as Iron, Steel, Cement, and Aluminium.

8. First Woman Director General of ICFRE-Kanchana Devi

The 1991 batch IFS Officer of Madhya Pradesh Cadre Shri Kanchana Devi has created a new milestone by being appointed as the first woman Director General of Indian Council of Indian Council of Forestry Research Education (ICFRE). ICFRE is a prestigious Council under MoefCC. The Headquarters of ICFRE is located in Dehradun.

Kanchana  Devi has experience of over 3 decades in the domains of forest, wildlife, and their policies along with a specialization in forest management and administration. ICFRE advises the Government of India, State Governments, and other stakeholders on forestry research and technology.

Kanchana Devi played a crucial role in establishing the Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Land Management (coE-SLM) and implementation of the Ecosystem Services Improvement Project (ESIP) AT ICFRE funded by the World Bank.

9. INS SUMEDHA-Mission Deployed at Madagascar

As part of the Indian Navy’s Long Range Mission Based Deployment, Indian Naval Ship Sumedha is undertaking a port call at Antsiranana, Madagascar from 04 to 06 December 2023.

The visit is aimed at reinforcing the Indian Navy’s commitment to enhancing Maritime Security, building bridges of friendship, and strengthening maritime cooperation with Madagascar. India and Madagascar have traditionally enjoyed warm and friendly relations, sharing common ethics of democracy, secularism, and development.

INS Sumedha is the third indigenously constructed Naval Offshore Patrol vessel of the Saryu Class and is part of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet. The ship is equipped with an Electronic Warfare Suite, state-of-the-art navigation, sensors, and a weapon system. The deployment of INS Sumedha at Madagascar highlights the importance of cordial relations between India and Eastern African nations.

10. INNO YODHA 2023

Indian Army held an Idea & Innovation Competition and Seminar titled ‘Inno Yodha 2023’ at the Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi on 5th December 2023. The event signifies the importance accorded by the Indian Army in embracing modernization and pursuing technological advancement through indigenization and in-house innovations.

The event was aimed at showcasing technological innovations carried out by the users within the organization. The event was attended by serving personnel besides eminent personalities from academia and the defence industry.

Innovations by Indian Army personnel are a testimony of the passion, professional competence, and technical knowledge of all ranks in finding in-house solutions to the operational needs of the field formations. The operational challenges faced by the Indian Army are varied, aggravated by the vagaries of terrain, weather, and adversarial threats. The dynamics of man and machine are compounded by the ever-evolving alchemy of technology and doctrines.

Towards this, the annual Ideas & Innovation Competition conducted by the Indian Army propagates critical thinking, facilitates the absorption of fresh ideas, and encourages all ranks to “Think Out of the Box”. It also harmonizes efforts of the Indian Army towards the ultimate aim of an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

11. India Infrastructure Report 2023

The India Infrastructure Report 2023 was released by Former Vice President of India Shri Venkaiah Naidu along with G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant. The subject matter of the Report is Urban Planning and Development.

The India Infrastructure Report 2023 is a collaborative effort of the IDFC of the foundation, Infrastructure Development Corporation (Karnataka), and NIUA. The India Infrastructure Report was started by the IDFC Foundation in 2001. The report contains 25 chapters Highlighting the current state of urban development in India.

12. Uttarakhand Global Investors Summit 2023

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated ‘Uttarakhand Global Investors Summit 2023’ which was held at Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, Uttarakhand. PM also launched a book Sashakt Uttarakhand and the brand House of Himalayas. The theme of the Summit is ‘Peace to Prosperity’.

‘Uttarakhand Global Investors Summit 2023’ is a step towards establishing Uttarakhand as a new investment destination. Thousands of investors and delegates will attend the summit from across the world. It will witness the participation of Union Ministers, Ambassadors of various countries along with leading industrialists, among others.

13. Global Carbon Emission Projections for 2023

According to an international research team, carbon emissions in India are expected to rise by 8.2 percent in 2023, while China is projected to see a 4 percent increase.

The findings come from the Global Carbon Budget report, a comprehensive annual update produced by over 120 scientists, including the University of Exeter, UK, and researchers from 90 global institutions.

The report indicates that global emissions from coal, oil, and gas are anticipated to increase by 1.1, 1.5, and 0.5 percent, respectively. In contrast, the European Union (EU) and the United States are predicted to experience declines of 7.4 and 3 percent in their emissions.

Total global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, including fossil fuels and land use change, are projected to reach 40.9 billion tonnes in 2023. Atmospheric CO2 levels are estimated to average 419.3 parts per million in 2023, exceeding pre-industrial levels by over 50 percent.

14. Italy Withdraws from BRI

Italy has officially withdrawn from China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, marking the end of its participation more than four years after becoming the only G7 nation to sign up.

The decision, communicated to Beijing, reflects Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s long-standing opposition to Italy’s involvement in an initiative seen by many as an attempt by Beijing to exert political influence.

Prime Minister Meloni has emphasized that leaving the project would not compromise relations with China, and the withdrawal was done in a way to “Keep channels of political dialogue open”. This move is seen as a balancing act to disengage from the initiative without provoking Beijing and risking retaliation against Italian companies.

15. 59th Fertilizer Association of India Seminar 2023

Union Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurated the 59th Fertilizer Association of India Annual Seminar 2023 in New Delhi. The theme was “Innovations in Fertilizer and Agriculture Sectors”. Products and services provided to the Fertilizer and Agriculture sectors were showcased by 56 exhibitors from India and abroad at the exhibition.

Three Publications namely The Fertilizer (Inorganic, Organic or Mixed) Order 1985, Fertilizer Statistics 2022-2023, and specialty Fertilizer and Micronutrient Statistics 2022-2023 were launched by the Fertilizer Association of India.

India is the First nation in the world to produce Nano fertilizers like Nano DAP Nano Urea. NAMO Drone didi scheme was also launched recently for giving services to farmers.

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